A LYS reader submits the following commentary on school funding decisions. Madoff school finance goes like this: Hey community, we need a $10 million dollar bond. We need a new addition here, a new weight room there, a renovation to that library, a new indoor athletic practice facility, and maybe technology upgrades if funds permit. This will only cost you $20 a month out of your paycheck. Hey community, we need a Tax Rollback Election (TRE) to pay for educational expenses. Teachers will be fired if we don’t pass this. Armageddon is on the way if we don’t pass this. What? No, you can’t bring up that new weight room and indoor practice facility. That is different pile of money. What? It all comes out of your paycheck, bottom line, regardless of what pile we scam you into putting it? You don’t support schools, you fiend! The legislature doesn’t support schools either. They should send us more of someone else’s paycheck! SC Response Great, now I have to channel Dr. Richard Hooker (you might know him Robin Hood) for you. Community, we need to build and/or upgrade our facilities. Children in our district will use these facilities for years to come. These facilities will make our community a more desirable location for people looking for a place to raise a family. The cost of these facilities could be $50 a year for the next 5 years or $20 a year for the next 15 years. Should we share the cost of this infrastructure upgrade across generations or shoulder it all ourselves. Now community, we have to pay to operate our schools this year. So we can’t forget that we are responsible for that also. We have to meet numerous state and federal mandates and there are things that we want to do locally. Now the state has committed to fund schools at a certain level, but it doesn’t. And it hasn’t rolled back its mandates. So we have to tax above the amount required to fulfill just our local initiatives. But… A) Luckily due to industry, mineral wealth or and/or our really big houses, we don’t have to tax ourselves at a very high rate to cover the difference. However, some of our locally collected funds will be sent to property poor districts. But, even though it hurts, all property tax revenue actually belongs to the state so redistribution is fair and logical. OR B) Unfortunately we have little industry or mineral wealth and we have small houses. We can tax ourselves at the maximum allowable rate and we will still come up short. But if we do our part, the state will send us relief from the property rich districts. Now the Anti Public School Agenda finance plan goes like this: Public schools are bad. If they keep educating all those poor, black and brown kids they will want to earn a living wage and one day they might elect a minority president. Why should I pay for that? I like things just the way they are. I can I camouflage my elitist ideals? I know, we will hold schools accountable to educating those poor, black and brown kids at a high level. Since those kids don’t want to learn, the schools will fail and we will be justified in dismantling the whole system. What? They are meeting the standard? Then reform “Robin Hood.” That will slow them down. What? They met the standard again? Ok, time for some tax reform. Take away their local taxing authority. Call it property tax relief. Tell them the state will make up the difference by increasing business taxes and that this time we promise that we will fulfill the state’s commitment to education. No, of course we’re not going to tax businesses higher. Why would I do that to my friends and myself? Great. Now we don’t have enough money. Let’s blame the schools for being wasteful. The public will buy that. And get my corporate buddies on the line. How much will they contribute to my re-election fund if I outsource the whole thing to them? If the public thinks Superintendents get paid a lot, they should pay attention to what CEOs get paid. Think. Work. Achieve.Your turn… Coming Soon! “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction” www.TheFundamentalFive.com Follow Sean Cain on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation Upcoming Presentation Schedule June 11 (TASB) – The Fundamental Five; Improve Now! June 15 (TASSP) – Improve Now! June 16 (TASSP) – Conference Breakfast, hosted by E. Don Brown (LYS travel tumblers for the first 1000 attendees, last year we ran out); Book Release Event and Signing; Fundamental Five; Tech Tools for the 2.0 Principal June 17 (TASSP) – PowerWalks June 18 (TASB) – The Fundamental Five; Improve Now!